Overview

In 2016, Ontario was selected to be one of 15 participants in a new pilot program run by the Open Government Partnership, an international organization committed to making governments more open, accountable and responsive to citizens.

The goal of the pilot program is to promote open government through increased transparency, accountability, public participation, technology and innovation.

Ontario’s commitments

Through this program, we developed our Open Government Partnership Action Plan. This supports our goal of being a more open and transparent government.

Our new commitments to support this plan are to:

  • strengthen Ontario’s commitment to making government data open by default by adopting the International Open Data Charter. Ontario formally adopted the Charter on May 5, 2017
  • increase opportunities for young people across Ontario to share ideas for government programs and services by developing a digital engagement tool
  • create an open government training program for staff across the Ontario Public Service to help government continue to find new ways to boost openness and transparency

How we developed the plan

Ideas

We received 270 ideas from the public on how we can improve government in four key areas:

  • transparency – publishing government-held information and data and improving access to information
  • accountability – tools and processes that hold the government accountable for its decisions
  • public participation – giving you more opportunities to weigh in on government decision-making in order to help us solve problems and create more efficient programs.
  • technology and innovation – using innovative technology to improve transparency and accountability, increase public participation, and help deliver better programs and services

Voting

Ideas were assessed against the selection criteria, and you voted on your favourites. We received almost 800 votes. Check out the ranked list of your favourites.

Workshops

The top ideas were assessed and considered during in-person and online workshops with more than 100 people, including:

  • members of the public
  • non-governmental organizations
  • community groups.

Implementing the plan

We are now working to implement each of our Open Government Partnership commitments, with input from all our partners.

In February 2017, we hosted a workshop to set the stage for ongoing collaboration. During the workshop, we discussed Ontario’s new open government commitments and contributed to a pan-Canadian conversation on Open Dialogue and Open Data.

Progress

Read our self-assessment report that looks at our progress six months into the implementation of our one-year action plan.

See the status of our project plans.

Advisory groups

We established Advisory Groups to act as champions and help deliver our commitments.

The Advisory Groups are meeting regularly throughout 2017 to provide advice and input on how to best implement each of the commitments.

These groups include experts on each of the commitments, as well as, representatives from non-governmental organizations, academia, business, community groups and the public service.

How you can get involved

OpenON Forums give you the opportunity to learn about the progress being made toward implementing our commitments.

OpenON forums are being held regularly on a number of topics related to open government.

Resources and tools

Learn more about our work through the Open Government Partnership by checking out the resources, documents and tools we’ve developed in key areas.

Advisory groups

Find information about members, meetings and discussions.

OpenON Forums

See notes, agendas, discussion and summaries from our regular engagement sessions.

Our commitments

Project plans

See the work that’s underway to fulfill each of our open government commitments.

Workshops

Find presentations and materials from our workshops to engage people in-person and online about our open government commitments.

Accessibility

We are committed to providing accessible customer service.

If you need accessible formats or communications supports, please contact us.

Voting results on open government ideas

We asked for your ideas on how we can improve government in four key areas. You voted on your favourites. Here is the list of ideas, which have been ranked based on your votes.

Transparency Final Ranking

Adopt the international Open Data Charter and its 6 principles for all Ontario ministry and provincial agency data.

1

Publish road event data (closures accidents) using the Open511 standard to allow for the creation of apps to alert drivers of road events in real-time, and promote the adoption of the standard by municipalities, so that drivers have information about all the roads they drive on.

2

Improve transparency around earnings and expenses.

3

Improve transparency in the government’s hiring process.

4

Release information on key land use, environmental, and water information by area, such as the Parkway Belt Plan and Source Water Protection Plan maps.

5

Post the briefs submitted by third-parties to legislative committees online.

6

Release statistics on the overall number of specific publicly funded medical procedures, including the age range of the patients.

7

Release province-wide research on sexual violence as an open data set.

8

Publish immigration statistics.

9

Post all regulations under Part III of the Legislation Act on the Regulations Registry.

10

Allow the public to listen in on public legislative assemblies by telephone.

11

Accountability Final Ranking

Implement all of the recommendations made by the Open Government Engagement Team in 2015.

1

Include outcomes and long-term impacts in government News Releases to help the public and media evaluate whether government is achieving objectives.

2

Create training on Open Government and Digital Government for public servants.

3

Create a Government of Ontario Web Archive, to ensure long-term access to its historical web content.

4

Develop an Open Government guide in collaboration with other levels of government that offers clear and tangible ways for public servants to align their daily work with the principles of open government.

5

Create standardized evaluations of the province’s open government initiatives, using existing open government evaluation frameworks, that can be used by external non-profit organizations to assess the government’s progress.

6

Make government answers to Order Paper questions available online.

7

Become a publisher in the International Aid Transparency Initiative registry to publish data on development cooperation activities that can be used by government donors, private sector organizations and national and international Non-Governmental Organizations.

8

Public Participation Final Ranking

Create a way for constituents to communicate with their MPPs online, in order to be included in the decision-making process, such as through surveys of their views on what works best in each riding.

1

Use the Dialogue Xchange to engage the public on social issues that local communities are facing.

2

Provide a digital engagement tool for cross-government use, in order to better engage youth in conversations to support the development of policies and programs that impact youth the most. The tool would enable the civic participation of youth who are not engaged through traditional methods.

3

Create a joint data working group with government, nonprofits, researchers and municipalities to use data for public benefit and address issues of common concern.

4

Develop a process to solicit and implement citizen ideas for legislative amendments.

5

Develop a new standard for publishing grants and contributions data with input from open data experts, policy makers and non-profits to ensure that the information published is detailed and structured enough to be useful for a wide variety of stakeholders.

6

When developing policy, regulations, directives, and legislation, use collaborative tools and processes drawn from open source software practices which allow input at all stages of policy development and show how contributions affect the final version.

7

Use policy labs to include the public and stakeholders in the policy development process.

8

Use a co-creation process with the non-profit sector when designing community services and programs.

9

Leverage the reach of the public library sector in Ontario to enhance public participation in government consultations.

10

Build institutionalized relationships with stakeholders to help with the implementation of Ontario’s Open Government initiatives, including the Canadian Open Government Civil Society Network (http://www.opengovdialogue.ca/)

11

Provide all government agencies and broader public sector organizations with access to the Ontario Public Service Intranet.

12

Develop innovative engagement tools to assist in the implementation of the recommendations made in Building the Workforce of Tomorrow: A Shared Responsibility. These tools will help Ontario meet the needs of our dynamic economy and prepare Ontario’s current and future workforce for technology and knowledge-based jobs.

13

Conduct consultations about relevant and innovative experiential learning approaches to inform a policy framework for community-connected e-learning for students from kindergarten to Grade 12.

14

Partner with civil service organizations to deliver an open government education module.

15

Use social benchmarking programs to support wiser energy usage by Ontario households and businesses.

16

Ask engagement firms that are bidding on public consultation opportunities to build activities that support the use of open data into their consultation plan (design days, hack-a-thons, data challenges, civic tech projects, policy hacks, etc.)

17

Broaden and deepen stakeholder and public participation with Ministry of Finance consultations.

18

Technology Innovation Final Ranking

Create a dashboard to provide citizens with information about key government outcomes, metrics and initiatives.

1

Enhance the Consultation Directory to create user-friendly and API-enabled online portal for public consultations that is comprehensive and allows people to sign up for updates, review key documents, and see what changes were made as a result of consultation.

2

Create a data analysis network in order to build innovative applications that assist government and the public to monitor, manage and enhance the economic and environmental sustainability of their communities.

3

Using open data, work with municipalities, the Open Data Exchange, the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, the private sector and the public to create solutions to complex municipal problems, which the private sector could then offer for purchase by municipalities.

4

Use an open licence, such as the Open Government Licence, as the default licence for all government digital content so that people can more easily share and use the content.

5

Design a census on internet connectivity of Ontarians and their digital literacy skills.

6

Make source code that powers government applications and websites available to the public as open source.

7

Re-establish posting government science publications in PDF format.

8

Update the Intellectual Property Directive in order to enable the publication of government information for free under open licenses.

9

How to stay connected on open government

  1. Follow us on Twitter @ONdigital and join the conversation by using #OpenON
  2. Stay tuned to the Open Government page for regular updates on our OpenON Forums
  3. Subscribe to our mailing list to receive regular updates on our open government initiatives, including upcoming OpenON Forum topics
Updated: November 25, 2021
Published: August 04, 2016